Fishery Improvement Projects Database (FIP-DB)

A fishery improvement project (FIP) is a multistakeholder effort designed to improve the sustainability of a fishery. This database provides historical information about the progress and characteristics of all public FIPs. It allows researchers to identify trends in FIP data and evaluate which factors lead to FIP success or failure.

The database is maintained by the Hilborn lab at the University of Washington (UW) and Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP). You can read more about the SFP FIP Research program, which was the impetus for creating this database, further down the page.

Here are three things you will need to use this database:
  1. If you would like to do your own analysis, click here to download the entire Microsoft Access relational database.
  2. If you want to review queries which have already been generated, click here to see them in our Airtable query viewer.
  3. A spreadsheet with definitions of all the variables used in the database is available here.
Please review the embedded document below for tips and tricks on viewing the queries as well as sample insights and different kinds of research questions that can be answered using this database.

Preferred citation of this database:

Cannon et al, 2018 and FIP-DB v1.0 accessed on DATE at

If you have any questions or feedback on this database, please email the Database Administrator at  

The database was last updated in Aug 2018.  For the most current information on the status of FIPs please consult the original sources of the data at and For the most current information on the MSC status of the FIP please visit

If you have a Scribd account, you can download the document directly from the embed; if you don’t, you can download it here.

SFP FIP Research Program

Goal: Promote the uptake and expansion of the FIP model within the global seafood supply chain as a key tool for improving fisheries.

Purpose: Develop and maintain the most comprehensive global database of historic FIP information to date (the only database globally that holds historical or archival FIP info from the beginning of FIPs); understand what makes a good FIP and how progress and pace takes place depending on FIPs typologies; encouraging academic and seafood landscape groups to actively engage in FIP research initiatives using the FIP database and making their findings public

The FIP Database (FIP-DB) was seeded by Sustainable Fisheries Partnerships’ FIP Research Program. Over many years, SFP has identified key elements for setting up and implementing fishery improvement projects (FIPs) and used a variety of tools and strategies to deliver improvements in fishery management policies and fishing practices. We have also developed systems to measure FIPs that give a snapshot of progress and allow comparisons between projects. This tremendous base of knowledge and information is ripe for analysis and could provide the starting point for answering the question: “What are secrets of successful FIPs?”

Increased FIP research and analysis is needed and will lead to better and more effective projects.  The new FIP-DB meets the need for science-based evidence and now allows any FIP researcher to ask tough questions and identify convincing answers. Ultimately, our goal is to increase the understanding and uptake of FIPs worldwide and to continue documenting best practices for ensuring that projects result in sustainable fisheries.

SFP and UW staff involved in construction of and maintenance of the FIP-DB:

Pedro Sousa | SFP Chief Scientist, FIP Research Program Director.

Pedro received his PhD in Population Biology from the University of Lisbon, Portugal; his MSc in Mathematics Applied to Biological Sciences from the Technical University of Lisbon, and his BSc in Marine Biology and Fisheries from The University of Algarve, Portugal. Before joining SFP in 2008, Pedro worked for more than 15 years as scientific consultant and researcher for statistical analysis and fisheries on marine and fisheries projects at the University of Algarve, and at the Portuguese Fisheries Institute (IPIMAR), in collaboration with other academic institutions. He lectured on Statistics, Data Analysis and Modeling at a private university in the Algarve, Portugal, for 11 years.

Pedro Veiga | SFP Senior Scientist, Analysis and Scientific Reports Program Director, FIP Research Program Data lead

Pedro also serves on the research and content development team and has been part of the research team of the Coastal Fisheries research Group from the University of Algarve since 2001. He is a marine biologist with more than ten years of experience working mainly on coastal and estuarine fish population dynamics, seabed habitat mapping, recreational and small-scale fisheries, and fisheries management. Since 2006, his work has been mainly focused on the biological impact and human dimensions of marine recreational fishing in southern Portugal. Pedro has a Ph.D. in Fisheries Sciences and Technology from the University of Algarve, Portugal.  He is currently based in Faro, Portugal.

Merul Patel | SFP Chief Information Officer

Merul is responsible for Sustainable Fisheries Partnership technical systems including those for FishSource and SFP operations. Originally a solid state physicist, with a PhD from Cambridge University, and the author of several papers and patents, he has held a number of positions in publishing and technology companies over the last 25 years culminating in CTO and CEO positions in the mobile payments space.

Braddock Spear | SFP Systems Division Director, SFP Leadership team

Braddock is head of the SFP’s Systems Division, which oversees science/analysis, FIP ratings/standards, IT infrastructure, and systems design for SFP’s information tools. Brad also leads external collaborations and new ventures, including potential spin-off services that can be offered on a for-profit basis.  For 8 years before coming to SFP, Braddock worked at the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (US), ending his tenure as Senior Coordinator for Policy. At the Commission, Brad developed an expertise in the US fisheries management systems, coordinated the legislative program, and initiated collaborative efforts involving government, industry, and NGOs. He received a MA in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island.

Mike Melnychuk | Research Scientist, University of Washington

Mike’s postdoctoral research with Ray Hilborn focuses on identifying management strategies and tactics that lead to successful conservation outcomes for marine populations and positive socioeconomic outcomes for the fisheries they support. Much of this work relies on estimates of stock status of fish and invertebrate populations from around the world, assembled in the RAM Legacy Stock Assessment Database, and involves data synthesis and meta-analytic approaches to assess the current status of fish and invertebrate stocks relative to fisheries management targets.

Nicole Baker | Research Scientist, University of Washington

Nicole has worked as a research scientist in Ray Hilborn’s lab since May of 2016.  Her responsibilities there include managing the lab, as well as putting together databases that are used in lab research analysis.  Completed and in-progress databases include global ex-vessel price; forage fish predator diets; scientific advice, TAC and catch and fuel use.  Previous to working at UW, Nicole was a fisheries observer in the North Pacific groundfish program from 2010-2015 and received her masters from the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez where she evaluated the status of the queen conch population as well as the effectiveness of different management strategies.

Ray Hilborn | Professor, University of Washington

Ray Hilborn is a Professor in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington specializing in natural resource management and conservation. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in food sustainability, conservation and quantitative population dynamics.  He authored several books including “Overfishing: what everyone needs to know” (with Ulrike Hilborn) in 2012; “Quantitative fisheries stock assessment” with Carl Walters in 1992 and “The Ecological Detective: confronting models with data” with Marc Mangel, in 1997 and has published over 300 peer reviewed articles.  He has served on the Editorial Boards of numerous journals including 7 years on the Board of Reviewing Editors of Science Magazine. He has received the Volvo Environmental Prize, the American Fisheries Societies Award of Excellence, The Ecological Society of America’s Sustainability Science Award, and the International Fisheries Science Prize.    He is a Fellow of the American Fisheries Society, the Washington State Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society of Canada and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.